Smart marketing doesn’t waste time.

How much time does it take you to get your message out? Two to three minutes? Can you do it in fifteen to thirty seconds? Can you get your message to your prospect in a sound-bite? “You’d better,” says Donna Barbera, marketing/media  consultant and long-time former Detroit news reporter.

Donna Barbera

Recently I met with Donna to talk about how we help our clients make the all-important first impression. She told me she doesn’t think in terms of number of words or pages. She thinks, instead, in seconds. “You have to capture people’s attention in a few seconds.”

Throughout her career, Donna has honed her ability to take a lot of information and carve out everything but the valuable nuggets—the things that people will want to hear. Few people really care about facts and figures—at least initially. They are also going to turn you off when you rattle industry jargon. Provide too much information and you will lose people.

When recently talking to a seminar of business owners, Donna challenged them, “Do you know what resonates with your audience? Good branding, marketing and video connects with people on message and on an emotional level.”

Crafting your own marketing message is a challenge. Even savvy business owners struggle to do it. None of us are exempt. Here are four reasons why: First, because we know too much. We know all the details of our product and how our service beats the other guy’s. It’s difficult to sift through our list of benefits and narrow it to a core statement. Second, we want to say too much. We are excited about what we’re selling and we forget that our prospect isn’t…yet. Third, we’re inside the business. We have blind spots to what makes us unique. Fourth, if we do know our core differentiator, we say it like all the rest. It’s too easy to use jargon or bland, ordinary words.

So, how do you get attention in a noisy, crowded marketplace? Get to the heart of what differentiates you and say it concisely–in a creative way.

Sit down with an independent third party. A professional who is trained to listen for the differentiators and will help you create a slogan, coin a term, or craft a 30 to 60 second pitch is worth their weight in sales receipts.

Taking on this challenge for our clients is one of the fun things we get to do at IGD. It involves digging for depth and vision. We brainstorm imagery and play with phrases. We laugh at the absurd and struggle to keep only the words that count. When the light bulb goes off, we’re scrambling to write down the wellspring of ideas & potential messages. We’ve struck gold.

Find someone you trust—whether you are the marketing director for a large company or a sole proprietor—and get to the heart of the message that will capture the attention of your target market and resonate with them on an emotional level. Say it creatively for a remarkable advantage!